Don’t Allow Egypt to Lower Minimum Marriage Age for Girls

Target: Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

Goal: Don’t lower the minimum age of marriage for girls in Egypt to nine years old.

The minimum age for marriage for both boys and girls in Egypt is currently 18 years old, but the People’s Assembly Council is now discussing a proposed change that would lower the minimum age for girls to possibly as young as 9 years old. If the marriage age is changed, this means that families can marry their daughters off at far too young an age, and risk serious psychological and physical harm to those girls.

Child brides run the risk of being raped and tortured by their husbands. They also have no option to consent to the marriage. Even if a child bride is able to secure a divorce from her husband, she may still face exploitation and abuse from relatives and society.

After Egypt’s recent revolution, women are finding that their rights are rapidly eroding. Lowering the minimum marriage age for girls will not only subject them to physical and sexual abuse, but they will also lose other rights, such as opportunities for education and career advancement when they get older.

By signing the petition below, you are urging Mr. Tantawi, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to help stop the proposed changes to allow child brides.

PETITION LETTER:

Mr. Tantawi,

After your recent revolution, women are quickly finding that the new government is trying to get rid of their rights as Egyptian citizens. Egypt’s constitution says that “All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex …” but the proposed legislation to lower the minimum age of marriage for girls will erode women’s rights.

By lowering the minimum age for girls and allowing child brides, you open opportunities for Egyptian girls to be exploited, raped, and abused. You will also limit their life opportunities, such as chances at education and career advancement later in life.

Please do not lower the minimum age of marriage for girls. Keep women equal, and don’t take away women’s rights post-revolution.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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16 Comments

  1. tuppennyblue says:

    Please think about this before signing. The age of consent in Egypt is currently eighteen, and you are petitioning for it NOT to be reduced at all – yes, that’s what the petition says. I understand that the aim of the legislation is actually to reduce the age of consent to fourteen, which is no lower than in many other countries – it is thirteen in Spain, for example. To the best of my knowledge, no-one is suggesting for one moment that it should be changed to nine! Someone’s shooting you a line here to get you to sign something different… Personally, think we should leave the Egyptians to make up their own minds on this one; after all they know more about their culture than we do.

    • Christina says:

      If anyone thinks it is ok to lower the age to 14 whether it is done in Spain or anywhere else they are also wrong thinking. 18 is by far young enough to marry. Let children grow up and become adults first and that is the same the world over. No one is an adult at the age of 14. Lowering the age is simply to keep women from becoming powerful in their own right. It is a male denominated world trying to stay that way afraid that women with power will change the world to one where men will have to face their weaknesses they use to overdominate so they can appear in power.

      I make myself clear – DO NOT LOWER THE AGE AT ALL!!

      • For that matter, we should raise the age to 25 since the part of the brain that processes the consequences of actions doesn’t fully develop until about then. It’ll probably never happen, but science is science …

  2. This is nothing but legal child rape and should be stopped at any cost.

  3. Comtessa de Metoncula says:

    Wherever there is organized religion, there is also discrimination against women and the most ironic thing is that without women, there is NO human life..Mind you that would not be such a bad thing for the Planet.

    • COULDNT OF SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!!!
      SPECIALLY ON THE LAST PART…NOT A ABAD THING AT ALL!!!All species suffer when one species suffers!!!

  4. I agree with Warren. marriage at 14 is legalized child rape. Some things do not depend on culture. Can you legalize honour killings or girl foetus killing because it is a part of a culture. Is culture something static. Do people have a right to reject / change a culture that places some humans and animals at a disadvantage. So lowering the minimum age for marriage to 9 or 14 will be detrimental to the interests of my Egyptian sisters and i oppose it

  5. Tom Barto says:

    When the girls are old enough to understand and able to accept or reject on their own rather than having an uncle or elder friend of the family in the father’s absence make these choices for them, then they should be able to decide for themselves. Personally, I think the age should be around 23 or so. Most younger marrieds admit they wished that they had waited until they had some sense.

  6. tuppennyblue says:

    @ Tom Barto – if your suggestion was followed it would make anyone who had sex with a 22 year old liable to prosecution as a paedophile. Is that reasonable?

  7. caroline liddell says:

    enium our defense contractors have been using all over the Middle East has atrophied their already miniscule brains.What blatent misogyny;as several commenters have stated,this is clearly aimed at depriving females of a decent life.Early marriage and parential responsibilities leaves no time for a girls continuing education(why any man would want a wife who cant read the directions on a bottle of medicine that might be administered to his children is beyond me-but that is a likely consequence of marrying an uneducated child).Childbirth mortality IS higher in younger girls,so unless a man enjoys the prospect of being a widower saddled with motherless children,he should choose a female who has actually had time to attain physical maturity.Emotional maturity in the mother also makes it less likely that a mans children will receive substandard or abusive care;the impulse control centers in childrens brains does not mature until the end of the teenage years.It is clear that the welfare of women and children is of little concern to these deeply insecure old men who are proposing this obscene legislation.

  8. Lena Shenandoah says:

    THE WORLD IS BACKWARDS AND UPSIDE DOWN AND SEEMS LIKE IT IS HEADED IN THE TOILET.IT IS GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  9. Jill Schaeffer says:

    I agree with Matthew – a child’s brain is not an adult brain. For girls and boys – the brain is fully formed during the early twenties. Tell these jurists that if they persist in placing girls and women at risk they risk stunting their country’s emotional growth altogether. Not to mention the fact that they are harming half their population for the sake of male pleasure and male pleasure alone – rather self-centered don’t you think? As well as sadistic. Grow up guys!

  10. Imposing western ideals and moral judgements on other cultures is not an effective means of changing the plight of women and girls. I suggest you do a bit of research before making ridiculous assumptions and wild leaps of reasoning. Marriage and family life in Egypt are not the same things as in the west.

    And, anyone suggesting that the modern western family is an institution to aspire to is either willfully blind or a blatantly moronic.

  11. SEPTEMBER 17, 2012 AT 5:11 AM
    Imposing western ideals and moral judgements on other cultures is not an effective means of changing the plight of women and girls. I suggest you do a bit of research before making ridiculous assumptions and wild leaps of reasoning. Marriage and family life in Egypt are not the same things as in the west.
    And, anyone suggesting that the modern western family is an institution to aspire to is either willfully blind or a blatantly moronic.

  12. JUNE 6, 2012 AT 3:40 PM
    Please think about this before signing. The age of consent in Egypt is currently eighteen, and you are petitioning for it NOT to be reduced at all – yes, that’s what the petition says. I understand that the aim of the legislation is actually to reduce the age of consent to fourteen, which is no lower than in many other countries – it is thirteen in Spain, for example. To the best of my knowledge, no-one is suggesting for one moment that it should be changed to nine ! Someone’s shooting you a line here to get you to sign something different… Personally, think we should leave the Egyptians to make up their own minds on this one; after all they know more about their culture than we do.

  13. JUNE 7, 2012 AT 1:09 PM
    @ Tom Barto – if your suggestion was followed it would make anyone who had sex with a 22 year old liable to prosecution as a paedophile. Is that reasonable?

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